There can be no excuse for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the destruction and loss of life due to this brutal decision, including the loss of life among Russia’s military personnel who are largely draftees and who, when captured by Ukrainians, state they do not even know why they are in Ukraine.
But there are reasons for it, and to understand the way to end the killing and destruction, the reasons should be clearly stated and understood.
There are photographs of Mr. Putin alongside Mikhail Gorbachev in the era of the end of the U.S.S.R Mr. Putin was a high-ranking KGB officer at the time.
President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker all assured Mr. Gorbachev that NATO would not advance to the east toward Russia’s border. Since NATO’s sole reason for being was to oppose the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.S.R. no longer existed, it seemed logical that NATO need not expand or advance.
It turns out that the assurances of President Reagan and the U.S. were mistaken, and since then, NATO has expanded and advanced all the way to the border of Russia and its reason for being has become to oppose Russia. That is a reason for Mr. Putin’s invasion, not an excuse.
There have been two peace talks already with another in the planning stage. The Ukrainian demands are always that Russia cease fire and withdraw from Ukraine immediately. Russia has offered to cease fire and withdraw immediately if Ukraine honors the Minsk Agreement that it already has accepted and if it declares itself neutral vis-a-vis NATO and any aggression on Russia much as Finland has done.
Mr. Putin has referred to this as Finlandization, and he asked for it long before the invasion. So it seems that the invasion could have been avoided, and now could be halted by enforcing the Minsk Agreements and neutrality for Ukraine, but President Volodymyr Zelensky refuses and continues to press for a no-fly zone that will expand the war and may lead to a nuclear holocaust.
Rowland Lane Anderson
Rowland Anderson noted he’s a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace.